Fast-growing Peroni snags two-month draft feature at Buffalo Wild Wings

Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the fastest-growing European import in the U.S., will for the first time be featured nationwide at Buffalo Wild Wings as the chain sports bar’s import draft feature.

The easy-drinking Euro lager, which continues to post glitzy sales growth, will be on tap at 1,200 B-Dubs sports bars in January and February 2020, a period of time in which the chain outperforms the general market, per MillerCoors data.

MillerCoors brands sell at a 10% higher rate at Buffalo Wild Wings as compared with the general on-premise market during those two months, MillerCoors data show.

“Buffalo Wild Wings is such an important partner for us, and working with them to get Peroni on draft during this key timeframe is big for us to continue to build awareness for this great brand,” says Ed Novak, director of strategy and sales operations for Tenth and Blake, the MillerCoors craft and import arm. “While Peroni as a brand aims to bring style to the world of beer, we feel like the brand can help trade up drinkers into something special regardless of the occasion.”

The beer is among a portfolio of higher-end labels that MillerCoors is investing more behind as the company seeks to grow its portfolio of above-premium brands.

For Peroni, it’s working. Backed by a national marketing campaign and expanded distribution, Peroni is up 65.3% year-to-date through Nov. 9, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data. And it continues to pick up momentum, up 79.5% in the most-recent four-week period. That’s as imports as a whole are up 5.5% year-to-date and just 4.9% in the most-recent period, per Nielsen.

And, perhaps even more impressive: Peroni is the No. 4 growth brand on draft in the beer industry overall this year, according to Nielsen on-premise data through Sept. 7.

The brand's momentum is a primary reason Buffalo Wild Wings opted to choose Peroni as its first featured import, a new, full-time promotion the chain is launching in 2020, says Jason Murphy, Buffalo Wild Wings' beverage innovation manager. 

"We see the growth trends. Peroni has been on fire lately," says Murphy. "And it's a great crisp, refreshing and sessionable beer that you can enjoy more than one of while you're with your friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to catch the game."  

The Peroni feature is among five beers featured at the chain over 2020’s first four months. Miller Lite and Coors Light each will be featured drafts in January and February; Blue Moon is the featured craft in March and April; and MillerCoors craft partner Terrapin Beer Co. developed a beer called Naked Bliss that will be featured in more than 200 B-Dubs locations within Terrapin’s distribution footprint in December, January and February, says Jean Winter, MillerCoors chain sales manager for the Buffalo Wild Wings business.

The full-priced feature at the nation’s largest purveyor of draft beer “is huge for Peroni,” Winter says. The January-February timeframe is busy for sports bars like Buffalo Wild Wings because of college and pro football playoffs and championship games. In addition, the college basketball season starts to heat up. Putting Peroni on draft during the period “shows that they understand that sports are not just a domestic occasion anymore.”